Connect with us

Business

Wall Street sets record closing highs on stimulus hopes

Published

on

Wall Street sets record closing highs on stimulus hopes

Wall Street advanced on Monday, setting a course for record closing highs as stimulus prospects and ongoing vaccine deployment boosted investor optimism over the pace of economic recovery from the pandemic recession.

All three major US stock indexes were higher, with the S&P 500 and the Dow on track for their sixth consecutive gains, their longest winning streak since August. Small-caps, often seen as “re-opening plays,” outperformed their larger peers.

“The market is looking forward six months to a year and believing we’re going to be largely past the coronavirus issue and the economy will be reopened,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut. “That gives people conviction and reason to buy the market.

“The fear of not participating is having some folks throw in the towel despite worries that the market is overvalued and overbought,” he added.

Oil prices rose to their highest in over a year due to supply cuts and hopes for a stimulus-driven demand rebound, helping energy stocks jump 4.2 percent.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said if Congress approves the president’s $1.9 trillion fiscal aid package, the United States could return to full employment next year.

That package came closer to passage on Friday when lawmakers approved a budget outline that would enable them to muscle it through Congress without Republican support.

Vaccine deployment pushes ahead in United States with at least 32,780,860 doses administered so far, and new infections trending lower, on average.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 132.2 points, or 0.42 percent, to 31,280.44, the S&P 500 gained 13.29 points, or 0.34 percent, to 3,900.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 69.19 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,925.49.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, six were green, with energy stocks enjoying the largest percentage gain.

Fourth-quarter reporting season has passed the halfway mark, with 294 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 83 percent have beaten consensus estimates, according to Refinitiv.

Analysts see aggregate fourth-quarter S&P earnings posting a year-on-year gain of 2.4 percent, a stark reversal from the 10.3 percent annual decline seen at the beginning of the year, per Refinitiv.

Walt Disney, Cisco Systems and General Motors were up between 1.5 percent and 4.3 percent ahead of their earnings reports this week.

Bitcoin touched a record high after Tesla announced it had invested around $1.5 billion in the cryptocurrency and would begin accepting payment in bitcoin for its cars and other products.

“The average institutional investor is shaking their head,” Pavlik said. “For these folks who are believers in crypto currency, it gives them another layer of support that crypto is the future.”

Tesla shares inched up 0.6 percent, while cryptocurrency miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Patent Group surged 33 percent and 35.1 percent, respectively.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

El Salvador volcanoes to power bitcoin mining

Published

on

El Salvador volcanoes to power bitcoin mining

Bitcoin is red-hot in El Salvador — and the country says it plans to use power from its volcanoes to mine it.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele — just hours after the country’s legislature approved the “Bitcoin Law,” making it the first to accept Bitcoin as legal tender — revealed Wednesday that the nation’s state-owned geothermal electric company will harness volcanic energy to mine the cryptocurrency.

Bukele said the country is already designing a mining hub that will use “very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable” energy from volcanoes to power the operation, which effectively would be a bank of super-powered computers that solve the complex mathematical equations required to mine Bitcoin.

“Our engineers just informed me that they dug a new well,” Bukele tweeted, saying it would generate 95 megawatts of energy — enough to power more than 500 homes for a year. “What you see coming out of the well is pure water vapor.”

Bukele — who is looking to lower transaction fees on the $6 billion in yearly remittances sent to its citizens from abroad — has yet, however, to reveal when the new operation will be live or how many Bitcoins he expects to be able to mine.

It’s been a bullish week for Bitcoin in El Salvador. The digital coin can now be used as payment for goods, services, and taxes in the public and private sector. Bitcoin rose 6 percent on the news, according to data from Coindesk.

According to a study by Cambridge University, Bitcoin mining consumes more energy per year than the Philippines. Elon Musk has met with Bitcoin miners about environmental concerns, recently citing them as he announced Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment.

Details about the mining efforts and how El Salvador will widely adopt Bitcoin remain vague. The law states it will provide “the necessary training and mechanisms” to allow the 70 percent of its citizens that don’t have access to traditional banking services to understand how they can use Bitcoin but didn’t elaborate.

Still, Bukele remains an enthusiastic advocate for the currency and his mining project. Late Thursday he tweeted drone footage of the new mine with a rainbow in the background.

Continue Reading

Business

China arrests 1,100 crypto users on money laundering charges

Published

on

China arrests 1,100 crypto users on money laundering charges

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies is heating up with a series of arrests that suggest digital currency users can be traced.

More than 1,100 people who allegedly used cryptocurrencies to launder profits from frauds were arrested Wednesday, the country’s Ministry of Public Security said in a statement. 

The busts involved 170 criminal groups who authorities say hired “coin farmers” to open crypto accounts after bank accounts they used for their alleged scams had been seized.

“The high illegal income attracts a large number of people to participate, causing serious social harm,” the ministry said of the alleged plots.

The arrests may cast further doubt on the supposed un-traceability of cryptocurrencies. On Tuesday, the price of bitcoin fell almost 12 percent after it was revealed that US authorities were able to reclaim most of a bitcoin ransom that Colonial Pipeline paid to hacker group DarkSide in May. 

“Criminals have been using bitcoin because of the supposed inability of governments to get at it,” Anthony Denier, CEO of trading platform Webull, told the Post on Tuesday. “If governments can claw it back, that hurts its appeal.” 

Wednesday’s arrests are part of a broader Chinese crackdown on crypto. They come less than a month after the government called for greater regulation of digital currencies.

A committee presided over by a member of China’s Politburo wrote in May that it is necessary to “crack down on bitcoin mining and trading behavior, and resolutely prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field.” 

Worries about bitcoin’s traceability and the looming threat of government regulations have sent the cryptocurrency plummeting from its peak of more than $63,000 in April. Bitcoin was trading at about $37,600 Thursday morning. 

Additional reporting by Will Feuer

Continue Reading

Business

Burger King flambes Chic-Fil-A online, donates to LGBTQ foundation

Published

on

Burger King flambes Chic-Fil-A online, donates to LGBTQ foundation

They just served them a double whopper.

Burger King may have lost the restaurant-chain battle, but they’re charging ahead in the sandwich wars: The burger monger flame-broiled queer-rights critic Chick-fil-A in a Pride Month tweet in which they pledged to donate the proceeds from their new chicken sandwich to an LGBTQ charity. The provocative post currently boasts over 7,000 likes online.

Burger King tweeted last week that 40 cents from every one of their new hand-breaded Ch’King sandwiches sold during June will go to the Human Rights Campaign, which is the world’s largest LGBTQ-rights organization, Fox News reported. BK will contribute up to $250,000, according to the tweet.

The patty purveyor doubled down with a shot at Chick-fil-A, writing that the deal is good “even on Sundays,” when the devoutly Christian chicken chain shuts its doors.

The verbal whopper comes after years of opposition to Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, which contributed millions to organizations that opposed same-sex marriage. In turn, that got the restaurant banned from several airports and schools across the country.

In 2019, Chick-fil-A announced that it would no longer donate to the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and other groups that have been criticized for their stances on LGBTQ issues.

BK is surely hoping the charitable act will help give the chain a leg up in the ongoing battle for chicken-sandwich dominance, which Chick-fil-A is currently winning in terms of total sales.

The chicken-driven competition began in 2019, when Popeyes’ new sandwich sold out at many of its stores after just two weeks on the menu. 

Since then, the largest US fast-food chains, from KFC to Wendy’s, have introduced new chicken-laden menus or announced plans to do so.

Continue Reading

Trending